Osteocytes embedded in bone have been postulated to orchestrate bone homeostasis by regulating both bone-forming osteoblasts and bone-resorbing osteoclasts. We find here that purified osteocytes express a much higher amount of receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL) and have a greater capacity to support osteoclastogenesis in vitro than osteoblasts and bone marrow stromal cells. Furthermore, the severe osteopetrotic phenotype that we observe in mice lacking RANKL specifically in osteocytes indicates that osteocytes are the major source of RANKL in bone remodeling in vivo.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)